When The Hitman’s Bodyguard came out in 2017, my husband and I absolutely loved it. It didn’t take itself seriously and was just a blast to watch, especially the comedic interaction between Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds. Both men are complete pros, talented, and those skills were demonstrated as they played these characters. Bringing them back in a sequel, I was completely excited to see what they would come up with to follow up from the first film. Add in the brilliant Salma Hayek, the esteemed Morgan Freeman, and the talented Antonio Banderas along with Frank Grillo and you have a cast capable of anything. To me, my only concern was if this would be as good as the original. I was not disappointed, it was fantastically funny, action over the top in all the good ways, and excellent performances from every actor. Instead of just matching the original movie, it exceeded it in every way.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard directed by Patrick Hughes, written by Tom O’Connor, Brandon, and Phillip Murphy, and featuring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Morgan Freeman, and Frank Grillo, is the sequel to the successful 2017 The Hitman’s Bodyguard. Now, it is four years later and Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) bodyguard for hire, is still unlicensed and on sabbatical when Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) wife of Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) waylays Bryce. She needs his help to rescue Darius but after the rescue, they find out that all of Europe is in danger from Interpol agent Bobby O’Neill (Frank Grillo). Bobby forces them to work for him to find out who’s threatening Europe and Bryce must figure out a way to keep himself, Darius and Sonia alive all while dealing with the emotional ups and downs of the husband and wife. Unfortunately, the odds are stacked against them when Sonia’s old boyfriend, Aristotle Papadopolous turns out to be behind it all and recruits the best-rated bodyguard in the world and an equally talented assassin to take on Michael and Darius. Will they be able to take out the competition and prevent the plot in time?
This film sets out to be a buddy comedy action movie and that is exactly what it does. What makes it so successful to me is the blend of comedic elements, great acting, and brilliant well-timed action. You add in more screen time with Salma Hayek and you have a winning combination. Let’s start with the comedy. Part of what makes this movie so funny and over the top is the chemistry between Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Salma Hayek. How the three play off of each other is perfect. Ryan Reynolds has an impressive deadpan expression and an ability to laugh at himself and also manage the physical comedic elements that the film demands. Samuel L. Jackson can manage to make even curse words hilarious. There is one else who has the same way with the word Mother***r. Salma Hayek blends over the top crazy with a certain vulnerability, an ability to connect to the other two. It is the three of them that build the comedy and keep it going.
But they aren’t the only element that makes this film funny. The action is over the top in all the good ways. Every action scene combines thrills with visual humor. If Samuel L. Jackson’s character hits the target perfectly, there is another scene where Reynold’s character is run over by a car or is sidelined due to Salma Hayek’s character. Salma Hayek goes wild in her action scenes blending psychotic anger with hilarious lines. The blend of action with the witty dialogue makes the film a rollercoaster of fun, as you never know what will happen next, a bad buy blown to smithereens or Bryce jumping in front of a bullet for Darius or Sonia.
All of the action, dialogue, and chemistry wouldn’t work with any other cast. Ryan Reynolds is amazing at comedy. While he can play a serious role just as well, it is stunning to see what he can do with this character. Both he and Samuel L. Jackson brings flaws into their characters that make them far more interesting, with the dynamic between the two allowing them to be vulnerable and grow. It is a fantastic friendship between the two that is enhanced and made better by Salma Hayek. Salma Hayek as a con woman is believable and her character is probably more lethal than either of the men. Adding in Antonio Banderas as the mastermind is a brilliant stroke of casting and while I can’t spoil Morgan Freeman’s role, I can say he is brilliant and his interactions with the other actors show his full range of ability. Frank Grillo is entertaining as Bobby O’Neill and just adds to the riotous comedy.
If you loved the first film, you will love the sequel. It adds in even more action with more of Salma Hayek and even though it brings in big names, like Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas, their performances only enhance the film. The director keeps the formula that worked in the first movie, witty dialogue between the oddest couple in existence, Michael Bryce and Darius Kinkaid, action that is wild and explosive, and the dazzling work of Salma Hayek as she steals every scene she is in, even against the dynamic Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. I laughed throughout the movie. While it is not a great art film, it is a greatly entertaining movie. It perfectly captures the feel of the first movie while the performances surpass the original. It is riotously funny and not to be missed.
Rating: 5 out of 5 water scenes.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard opens in theaters nationwide on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021.